We are in our second year now of keeping chickens, it was never about having a huge flock of chickens to get masses of eggs, it was really so I could have some pets. So we already had an incubator as we use to breed and hatch quail so we bought some Silkie chicken eggs. Unfortunately due to power cuts this messed the incubation up a bit, and we didn't think any would hatch, we were surprised and relieved when 2 hatched.
We named them even though we didn't know what sex they were.
I named this one Charlie or Charley, thinking the name would suit if it was a boy or girl. Luckily it was a she, so Charley she was.
A day later another fluffy chick arrived, my husband named it Chuck a male name, but Chuck turned out to be a hen, but we have kept the name. I am pretty sure she couldn't care less.
So Charley and Chuck grew up together and were insperarable.
We decided we would like a couple more so instead of hatching ourselves bought a couple from a place which specialises in Silkies.
Our son named the white one Daisy and I named the other Doris.
So things were going well, Charley and Chuck were buddies and Doris and Daisy stuck together, but they would still all socialise together.
Now as any chicken keeper will know there is a pecking order.
Charley on the left was head hen she was in charge.
Charley was a little angel she had a really special bond with me, before we fenced off half of the garden for the four girls, she would come pecking on the kitchen patio doors to get my attention, she used to chatter away to me and alway rushed over to see me.
You notice I put "was". Charley was a big girl and it wasn't until she was over a year old before she started laying, and then the trouble began, she very quickly developed a vent prolapse, basically her insides were coming out, we looked into treating it and did all we could to try to cure it/stop it from getting worse. We separted her from the others for her own safety as Daisy started attacking her, this is what happens when one is generally unwell. This was the start of Daisies nasty streak. (More about that later).
Despite all of our efforts and we did try so hard, it just wasn't happening, she was getting really bad and she was unhappy. I decided enough was enough, wrapped her up and held her on my lap whilst my husband drove us up to the vets just up the road, the vet agreed it was the right thing to do, so she was put to sleep.
Boy was I upset, I still get upset now thinking about it, she was just so adorable.
My sweet Charley......
RIP my little angel. x
It was really heartbreaking, on the evening of that sad day, Chuck wouldn't go into roost, she was out looking around the garden for her pal. I had to put her in the box myself.
So after time all settled down again and Chuck (on the left) was now head girl.
Last week we had thee girls now only two, as I took the decision to rehome Daisy.
She had it in big time for Doris, and had become a right little madam since Charley was ill. Poor Doris kept being attacked all the time by Daisy, and I had two choices let them sort it out, or sort it out myself.
Doris is nervous anyway so didn't fight back and Daisy was jumping on her back all the time and attacking her head, and pulling her feathers out, if left I think she would have killed her.
I suppose like people you get the nice ones then the ones with a nasty streak.
She has been rehomed with an experienced Silkie owner.
Even though she was a little madam I did love her as I do all my pets.
Sad to see her go but for the best.
Now it is just Doris and Chuck.
Chuck even though she is head hen has a lovely nature, and they are both happy together, actually when Daisy attacked Doris, Chuck would try and step in to protect Doris.
Here they are enjoying some pomegranite which they absolutely love.
Doris is so much happier now.
The other pets we have are our aviary birds.
We had quite a few but due to my husband becoming more sensitive and allergic to the feather dander/feather dust we have had to get rid of most and now only keep 3 breeding pairs of Turquoisine Parakeets.
Here are a few photos of some of them.
This is one of the babies from this year.
Lovely to have pets in our lives, even though there are sad times.